Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks Game 1: Keys for Each Team

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Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks Game 1: Keys for Each Team
Michael Martin/Getty Images

The second-round series between the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks appears to be one that tilts heavily toward the defending Stanley Cup champions.

However, if the Blackhawks want to overlook the Wild because they finished ahead of them in the regular-season standings and beat them in last year's postseason, they will be making a big mistake.

The Wild are a versatile team that survived a seventh-game overtime on the road against the Colorado Avalanche and moved on. The Wild have leadership in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, and they may have found a winning formula in the first round.

The Blackhawks definitely have the recipe for winning. In addition to bringing home two of the last four Stanley Cup championships, they overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs.

The first game of the series will be played at the United Center Friday night. Here are the keys to a victory for each team.

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